As the year draws to a close it always seems to get a bit quieter. That gave us plenty of time to catch up on some end-of-year reading. Trends we tracked during the last month of the year included reports about the rise of community colleges, the billion reasons why libraries are still important, and a study that showed academically, military children are staying a step ahead of their civilian counterparts. Check out the top articles we read this month and share some of your own with us!
Rural Schools Face Technology Challenges via EdWeek: Technology can give rural students access to teachers and classes they otherwise wouldn’t have, but remote schools often struggle with a lack of infrastructure, money, and technology proficient leaders.
1.6 Billion Reasons Why America Still Needs Libraries via Business Insider: There were 1.59 billion public library visits in 2009, a six percent increase from the year before. Libraries have been named as an important tool for millions of job seekers and idle youth. Where else can you use the internet for free — with free access to hundreds of thousands of books and movies.
Study: Two-fifths of high schools graduates are unprepared for college or the workforce via The Washington Post: Two-fifths of high school students graduate prepared neither for traditional college nor for career training, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Arizona. College-preparatory programming has expanded dramatically in the past decade. Career-preparatory programs have evolved, as well, and school-to-work “pathways” have replaced tired old vocational programs. But they are not enough.
For Community Colleges, a Time to Shine via The Chronicle: The absence of excellence in the common understanding of community colleges has a subtle but powerful effect on the sector. If people can’t see greatness, they won’t invest in it, which is one reason that many two-year institutions struggle to get by with pennies on the dollar given to well-known flagship research institutions. Community colleges and the students within them are the forgotten half of American higher education. This week something important is happening to start changing all of that.
Military Children Stay a Step Ahead of Public Schools Students via The New York Times: The results are now public from the 2011 federal testing program known as NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. And once again, schools on the nation’s military bases have outperformed public schools on both reading and math tests for fourth and eighth graders.